Summary: Jesus said in different places why He came to earth. So, let's check out what He said and see how it all fits into His perfect plan of salvation for all who will place their faith and trust in Him! PTL!
Are you “Pressing On to Know the Lord”? - Hosea 6:3a
Last week we took a look at who Jesus is and we saw that the Father in heaven revealed through Peter that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God”. And, that this declaration, this fact is the very foundation upon which the church is built.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be taking a look at why Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God came to earth. It wasn’t just to say, “Howdy!” and to check up on how we’re all doing down here!
The section of Scripture that we’re looking at today follows the great story of Jesus healing the man born blind. This event takes the entire chapter of John 9.
Late last summer we went through a four part sermon series on John chapter 9 so I hope I wasn’t the only person awake those Sundays! Anyway, go back and read it again! It’s one of my favorite stories from the Bible.
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
“But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
“Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what He was telling them.”
“Therefore Jesus said again, ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.’
“I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (superabundant in quantity/ superior in quality)
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”
The analogy of God as the Shepherd of Israel was a theme found throughout the books of the Old Testament.
Psalm 23:1-3 says,
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Sounds like the Lord is a GREAT Shepherd, doesn’t it? That sounds like a great life for a sheep.
So, when Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” He’s talking about His sheep and if we have come to the place where we have responded to the call of God, turned away from a life of sin and have placed our faith and trust in Him then we are one of His sheep!
Let’s try a different analogy here; one that we might be more familiar with.
Born Into Captivity - Let’s assume that you were born to parents who had been abducted by terrorists who hate you and everything about you. You were born into that captivity. You have been given only what it takes to keep you alive.
Constantly Cold - Many days and nights you have spent shivering with just enough clothing and shelter to keep you alive, but no more.
Unending Hunger - You live a life of constant hunger but don’t realize that it is unusual because you’ve never been full and don’t particularly crave food because all you’ve ever been given is waste from the garbage, all moldy and filthy and filled with maggots.
Unending Thirst - You are constantly thirsty because you only get enough water to keep you alive and most of that is putrid and foul.
Beatings Are Normal - You don’t know what love is because you’ve only ever received beatings. You don’t know why you are beaten every day but apparently this is what life is like for everyone.
You Are Filthy - You are completely filthy but don’t know it because you’ve never bathed, not even once in your life. You must drink whatever water you’re given because of your unquenchable thirst so even if you knew what washing was, which you don’t, you wouldn’t waste the water on it.
Unaware of Another World - You live in a room that is so small that you barely have enough room to lay down and part of that room is filled with your human waste as there are no toilet facilities. When the door opens you only see darkness and there are no windows.